It’s a rocky road for American businesses deemed non-essential during a pandemic.
Already we’ve seen a lot of staff and salary reductions at places like restaurants and retail shops, while sports team owners toss around ideas to limit expenses. The Sixers tried going down that road but received so much negative publicity that they decided to reverse course.
The struggle extends to terrestrial radio, and Beasley Media Group, which owns seven local stations including 97.5 the Fanatic and 93.3 WMMR, will be instituting wage cuts and hour reductions as a result of the economic Coronavirus pinch.
In an email sent to employees and obtained by Crossing Broad, CEO Caroline Beasley explains details of the strategy while informing staff that she will also be taking a pay cut:
We are all in this together and it starts at the top. As we get through this period, I will be forgoing 20% of my compensation throughout the end of the second quarter as we address the current situation. In addition, we will be implementing a 10% wage cut for salaried full-time employees and a 10% reduction in hours for full-time hourly employees. These cuts will be effective April 1st through the end of June, respecting any outstanding contractual obligations.
While it is not something we want to do, it is necessary in the long-term as we continue to move forward to get to the other side of the current economic situation.
In addition, we will be extending our work at home policy to April 6th. We will continue to provide you with timely updates as they become available. Please follow the guidelines provided by your respective local and state governments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your immediate supervisor or market manager.
We appreciate your continued support during these unprecedented times. It is during times of uncertainty that we prevail. Most importantly, we wish that you and your family remain safe and well.
Couple of thoughts here:
1. Nice to see the CEO step in and also take a reduction. I feel like every one of these policies needs to be accompanied with executive cuts in order to be taken seriously.
2. Based on the wording of that third sentence, it would seem like employees are just losing 10% of their pay but still working the same amount of hours. It doesn’t specifically state that their work week will similarly be drawn back by 10%, it just says “we will be implementing a 10% wage cut for salaried full-time employees and a 10% reduction in hours for full-time hourly employee,” which is basically two different things for two different groups of employees. Unless I’m reading that incorrectly, somebody like Mike Missanelli would continue to work his typical week but only receive 90% pay. (Edit – Mike is probably a bad example since he’s on a contract, so think instead of somebody who is full time but not one of the main hosts)
3. With no Sixers or Flyers on 97.5 the Fanatic, folks who worked on those broadcasts already lost significant game hours, so they’re getting dumped on twice, losing those seasonal gigs and then getting the hourly reduction on top of it.
4. The Sixers’ reduction plan, for reference, would have reduced employee pay by 20% temporarily, while also only asking them to work four days. Essentially they were earning only 80% of their pay while only working 80% of their hours, which seems fair on paper. Of course, that doesn’t take into account all of the extra hours that sports staffers work on game days or travel days, which is why it’s hard to do a flat ratio when trying to be fair about furlough hours and other reductions.
Locally, Beasley owns 97.5 the Fanatic, WMMR, 92.5 WXTU, 610 ESPN, 95.7 BEN FM, 860 WWDB, and 102.9 WMGK.